China or Home
To all those who have been living in China for more than a couple of years, where would you prefer to be - in China or back home? (where in China are you, & where is home?). And if you would prefer to be back home, what's keeping you in China? How many of you plan to live out the rest of your days in China?
hamshankMarch 07, 2010, 08:54 AM
Well I technically don't qualify for this question as I am both in Taiwan and have only been here since early December so everything is still pretty new and exciting.
Bet you can't guess where I am from!;)
My tuppence anyway is that if I was able to get to a level with my Chinese where I was able to have normal conversations with people, watch TV, buy things without the need for lingual backup etc, then I couldn't see why I would be rushing back home.
bababardwanMarch 08, 2010, 02:30 PM
This is becoming a great thread.Thanks for starting it go manly.I love these kinds of insights.Thanks to all above who have posted and shared stuff ,especially your generosity in sharing the personal stuff and feelings.[Sorry I don't qualify by a long shot so nothing to share myself on this one].Jiayou. :)
xiao_liangMarch 07, 2010, 11:26 AM
opportunity to whack out the culture shock diagrams!
This one is little, and is for foreigners coming to the UK, but reverse it (and get a magnifying glass) and it's fine:
I find this stuff fascinating, though. Culture shock is a marked transition in feeling.
And just to be annoying, I'm stuck in England, so won't be able to experience it. Le sigh!
TalMarch 07, 2010, 01:38 PM
Chinese people are often fascinated by the question of why foreigners come to live in China. On the surface, it seems a very unnatural thing to do, to choose to live in a foreign land, to separate oneself from friends, family, culture.
I've taken to reminding them
树挪死，人挪活。Shù nuó sǐ, rén nuó huó.
A tree dies if moved, a man lives by moving.
My feeling of life in China is sometimes of existing in a parallel universe, another version of reality.
The other day a little girl I didn't know came up to me in the garden of the estate where I live and said: 《你好像外国人。》I said I was but really I wanted to say: No, Earth is my home planet. 怎么说？不会吧，我们地球是我自己行星家咯。
JohnMarch 08, 2010, 02:48 AM
I prefer to be in China for now. It really is my second home, and I'm comfortable here. (Home was originally Tampa, Florida, and is also Shanghai now.)
I'm not sure yet about where I plan to "live out the rest of my days." I think I have a few more years to figure that out...
TalMarch 08, 2010, 04:15 AM
I find it difficult to give a simple answer to Bob's questions, because sometimes I really do miss my own country and culture and the convenience of being able to get stuff you want and eat certain foods you like. On the whole I do enjoy living in China though, and appreciate the lessons it has to teach. I love learning Chinese and I enjoy my work, teaching English to young Chinese medical students.
It's just looking ahead way too far to be thinking of where I'm likely to 'live out my days'! (I like to think I've got a reasonable chance of living forever anyway!) But I don't currently have any plans to leave China in the foreseeable future, which tends to baffle my students, but then I am in the unfashionable end of Guangdong.
bodaweiMarch 08, 2010, 02:12 PM
'Living out the rest of your days' probably has more meaning for me than posters above because i am closer to the end. :-( I figure I have about 40 - 50 years left. :-)
I had lunch today at a little 贵州人 restaurant and the meal was simple but delicious. My next-door province 贵州 is sometimes referred to as the poorest in China (so Tal, I must live in the unfashionable end of China.) But it made me think: how does the poorest province in China produce some of the most amazing food? This is just one of the cultural mysteries that I love in China.
But I am mainly driven by the fun/challenge of learning Chinese. Sorry, I haven't yet answered your question directly. I have no plans to move back to my home country soon but life is uncertain.
bodaweiMarch 08, 2010, 02:15 PM
I should have mentioned that I don't quite qualify for the 'living in China more than a couple of years'; I have been here for about 18 months in two separate stints separated by two years.